Eduardo’s Piano

Four forty in the morning.

I got just about as much sleep as I could get. The rain has stopped for the next day or so. Yesterday morning I saw that there’s a promo on Snapple drinks again, so today I might buy two of them, or perhaps the two liter of Coke. Michelle bent my ear with more of her complaints yesterday; and it seems like no two people are ever happy at the same time. Also, the happiness of one person often comes at the expense of another’s. Kind of like what Thomas Dolby sang in “Budapest by Blimp:” our thoughtless happiness is built on the ashes of the Jews and signed in the blood of Zulus. Even while I remember these lines, I can hear Eduardo playing “The Submerged Cathedral” by Claude Debussy on his baby grand piano in the sanctuary. Life is an odd jumble of things and events with different meanings for different people. “Is the new world rising / From the shambles of the old? / If we could just join hands…” A few words from Robert Plant as well. Why is it so hard for us to get it together with each other? But this would be utopia, wouldn’t it? I doubt if Christendom is the solution. It will take more than the kingdom come to set things to right. Moreover, it is our responsibility. 



Quarter of seven.

I just saw Bonnie Rose leave in her black truck to go someplace. I was thinking of how American life is an Inquisition about people’s faith in God. I don’t think I’ll ever believe in God, and the whole question is really silly.

So I trotted off to the market with an open mind. The air was very smoky again. When I got there, the store was quite busy and more coed than usual. The same blond girl was ahead of me in line, probably in cowboy boots because she looked taller this time. She sprinkled black pepper on her biscuits and gravy and carried out two orders of them, balanced precariously in one hand. Michelle had her hands full today, toggling between both registers to speed up the process of checkout… As I was walking home, my mind juggled the past and the present, and the past seemed attractive, though I knew it was only a phantom. Suddenly I can hear “Schooldays” by Gentle Giant, a really cool little prog song with a lot of vibraphone. From where do people get the call to be musicians? I guess it’s genetics, and this is the basis for everything we call fate or destiny: it’s all biological. I can see my first grade classroom in my mind, what in reality would be impossible because the old school was razed to the ground. In our memory, things subsist in a sort of half world, neither real nor entirely bogus. Substance use can make imagination bigger than reality, and so can psychosis. And maybe it’s all relative anyway. In Tibetan tradition, Milarepa slew a giant scorpion the size of a car, yet we don’t say he was crazy. He saw demons with big saucer eyes all around him, and people only shrug.

Nine o’clock. I think all knowledge is very difficult to sort out. Should a person weed out emotional reasoning for understanding the world? And without logic, people are totally sunk. It’s a cliche to say there needs to be a balance of reason and feeling, but the cliche is true. 

The Number 4

Quarter of ten. Oftentimes we lose the vision of the forest for the view of the trees. Hence with the rebuilding process of my house and concomitant rebirth of my psyche as recovered Robert. It’s happening now and the project is nearly complete. The house looks very good: like a resurrected 1962 house, for that original spirit cannot be banished. It only needed a facelift for restoration. I will try to get some pictures to this blog tomorrow. I am pleased with everything: windows, cabinets, countertops, and carpets. I feel a sense of romance about life again after some harrowing doubts and fears. The ghosts of my parents I would’ve exorcised are somehow yet present, but in a benign way. It feels like being alone with them as a four year old again; perhaps however it is simply the soul of the house itself. Perhaps my own soul. In the depths of November cold and fog return the memories of how Mom and Polly used to get together when we boys were four years old and younger. My mother’s parents were still alive, and we were all together as a family in four generations. Indeed, the number 4 and the idea of squareness and perfection are coming back to me. There were also four of us boys put together. Does it matter now what messed up the harmony we originally enjoyed? I suppose it was some evil thing like alcoholism and madness. Maybe it was the ill will of the jerk that was my father. Polly is probably right about him. But it doesn’t mean that I am similar to him; not at all, for the individual soul is simple and separate, not just the aggregate of genes and chromosomes. My right mind sees it all quite differently and speaks it like a child. I welcome the coming of the holiday season, and with a little luck I might have meaningful work to do in the next few months. Cheers to wholeness and the romance of the Jungian rightness I once knew as a boy. A toast to the vision of the forest: the big picture at last!

Music Is a Bridge

It was weird the way my mind blended the two Marks into one. Obviously there are big differences between them as well. I think I was being ethnocentric by putting both guys in the category of Jewish people. It is called out group homogeneity, and it happens when two are of a different race. I’m glad I caught myself at it. I wouldn’t want to cause a problem with my responses. I like the people just fine. I can’t imagine how my sister would behave around a Jewish person. I doubt if she ever met one. She is the type to go round spouting to Jewish people how Jesus liberated them from having to follow all those rules. I know one man in my church who considers Jewish people perfidious. I really cringe at that. Occasionally there’s a song about the Pharisees, or the Jews from the time of Christ who never converted. Also cringeworthy. Sadducees were similar. This is a song we teach to the children! So now I have to turn a deaf ear to it or throw out the baby with the bath water if I keep playing music with my new friend. It tempts me to just be secular again. I don’t like being in a tight spot between people. But it’s mostly just the one guy who scorns Jews. I don’t have to listen to him much. I really just have to act on instinct. Music is an activity that usually unites sundry people because music itself has no ideology. The most intelligent bands don’t discriminate according to race and ethnicity, color and creed, and so on. They have one thing in common, and that’s the music. So I think of music as being a bridge between different peoples, creating harmony at once literal and social.